10 Movies/Tv show/books that are worth it just for the opening scene.
Some shows you just want to put on to watch that amazing opening sequence and then turn it off. Its not that the rest is terrible, its just that the opening scene is so good, its worthy to be watched on its own.
The main plot of this episode concerns Apu trying to stay in Springfield despite being an illegal immigrant in the wake of Prop 24, which would kick out all illegal immigrants. It has some nice scenes of Apu trying to get fake IDs and Homer trying to teach Apu so he can pass the citizenship test. But this episode stands apart for the opening sequence that is, as Homer puts it, like a country bear jamberoo.
With such great lines as: “Let the bears pay the bear tax, I pay the Homer tax,” “Arrest him on account of being a bear. And arrest him on account of being accessory to being a bear,” “Won’t somebody please think of the children!” and Lisa’s rock that keeps tigers away. The whole episode up to the actual plot is some of the best Simpsons work. Of course, the rest of the episode may be worth watching simply for the references in the newspaper to the Bear Patrol escalating bombing.
2. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”
I think as Brett put it, “I don’t want to see Temple of Doom, I want to see the movie before it!” The whole “Anything Goes” musical number, and Indy dealing with the Chinese gangsters in Club Obi Wan provides some great urban noir that viewers rarely get with Dr. Jones. Plus, “The poison that you just drank!” has worked its way into cultural a priori knowledge so well, its hard to deny that this opening sequence is not better than the rest of the movie. Bonus points: Short Round.
Note: I can’t include Raiders on this list. While the opening scene is fantastic, the rest of the film is certainly worthy on its own. You can’t just turn on Raiders and not watch the rest. Its too good.
After it, what’s left? Ewoks? Another Death Star battle? Sure, “Its a trap!” is fun, as is the Emperor, but overall the rest of this film is very skippable.
Note: Family Guy, “North by North Quahog”: This episode was Family Guy’s return after cancellation. Like Futurama, it had an opening sequence that mocked its cancellation. In a traditional Family Guy pop-culture reference, Peter listed every show that Fox had brought on and subsequently cancelled between Family Guy’s death and resurrection. While a funny bit, the rest of the episode is surprisingly good, especially the clip from “Passion of the Christ II: Crucify This!” The difference in the good to bad ratio between the opening and the rest of the episode is not enough to merit it a place on this list.
Digimon falls into the same category. Crazy coked-out, pseduo-techno intro theme. Crappy Pokemon ripoff of a show. So after they change into digital champions to save the digital world, change the digital channel.
Notes: Any episode of Cowboy Bebop may seem to fit here, too. However, the freakin’ amazing into credits don’t utterly transcend the rest of the show, like with Digimon or TMNT, but transition into it. Perhaps this would fit if there was one really bad Cowboy Bebop episode, but there isn’t. And that’s the real folk blues.
7. Muppets from Space
The most recent Muppet movie to be released in theaters, Muppets from Space was a slight letdown. It didn’t have the knowing comedy or fantastic musical numbers from previous muppet movies — except the opening scene. This movie opens by following Kermit the Frog through the Muppets’ house, introducing every character in traditional wackiness before slowly transitioning into a song and dance rendition of Brick House. But the rest of the movie is about as good as one of Fozzie’s jokes. Wakka wakka, this is not.
Notes: Star Trek: The Final Frontier also opens with a small adventure and musical number, with Kirk, Bones, and Spock singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Alas, it is nowhere near as entertaining as Insurrection. Life is not a dream.
Light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin, my soul, the end. Really, all you need is that opening ephebophiliatic adulation of a gross 12-year-old. Sure, maybe buddy road trip sex romps across the great USA were a new and impressive thing back in the 50s. But now, boooring! Its been done. Finish the intro and high-five Nabokov, you’ve basically read the greatest book of all time.